Joe Strickland, a former MMA fighter himself, started the Spartan MMA Program that teaches kids the fundamentals of mixed martial arts, self-restraint and discipline. As part of his program to combat bullying and widen the opportunity for kids to do good, he and his business partner Scott, along with Ohio Fighting Championships, are hosting an MAA event this Saturday at the Zanesville Civic League Community Center.
"This is our inaugural kick-off for the fight the hate anti-bullying campaign," said Strickland. "We're trying to generate some community awareness about bullying issues not only in school, but at home as well. And out on the streets and generate some revenue to try to be able to do more for these kids."
A portion of the proceeds from the sanctioned fight will go towards creating new programs for kids to stay off the streets and out of trouble. The event will feature 14 action-packed fights with local talent. Strickland said the fighters actually act as mentors to the kids in the Spartan MMA Program.
"They're gonna be partnering up with these youth that come in here with the youth programs and helping them develop life skills. Ya know, giving them an ear to talk to about their problems, helping them with school work, whatever ya know, the case may be."
Tickets for the event are $20, the doors open at 6 p.m. and the fight starts at 7 p.m. If you can't go to the event but want to learn more about the Spartan Program, there will be a free community cook-out at the Civic League Community Center from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. this Saturday.